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Zunker family’s memorial pine lives on through furniture

Slab It Up
Rod and Kym Kington and Alex Ehrke with the Norfolk Island Pine tree

A Norfolk Island Pine, more than 60 years old and steeped in history, will live on when it is transformed into beautiful timber furniture.

The tree was originally planted as part of the Zunker Family Memorial Pines and in memory of Charles and Mary Zunker who tragically died in a cane fire in 1953.

Last week the tree was removed from its place along Bargara Esplanade due to public safety concerns surrounding its deteriorating health.

Now, Rod and Kym Kington of Moore Park Road business Slab It Up will transform the pine into unique, one-of-a-kind furniture that will last a lifetime.

“The Norfolk Pine already has a lot of history and it will be great to pass this information on to our clients so that the history of it won't be lost,” Kym said.

“Once the tree has dried out it will be slabbed and used to build timber furniture.

“We will be able to build tables, bars, TV units or anything that our clients would like.”

Slab It Up
The Norfolk Island Pine arriving at Slab It Up.

Kym said the large tree was transported to the business, by the contractor who removed it, last week and would need time to dry before work could begin.

“The tree was over 40 metres high and the weight of the logs are about seven tonne,” she said.

“We used our truck with a hiab and moved the logs ourselves to our workshop.

“Each tree is different- it could be 12 months before it is dry enough to mill.”

Slab It Up creates unique pine furniture

It's not the first major project Slab It Up has worked on, with Rod and Kym sharing a passion for creating unique, one-of-a-kind furniture.

“We have a Lucas Mill which allows us to mill our own timber,” Kym said.

“Our logs are sourced from farmers doing land clearing or home owners that cut down large trees in their yards.

“Rod is the master craftsmen and I do all the PR, marketing and bookwork.”

Kym said Slab It Up was first established in 2017.

“We started on my parents 20 acre property at Sharon as we were living on a house block at Winfield,” she said.

“Rod spent most weekends milling logs and building furniture down at Sharon.

Slab It Up
Kym and Rod Kington and Alex Ehrke sit around one of their furniture creations at Slab it Up.

“We purchased a couple of acres and moved to Moore Park Road three years ago so that our business and home is in one place.”

Kym said there were many steps in the creation process, from tree to final product.

“Firstly we have to source the log and get it home, then it is milled into slabs or timber by us,” she said.

“Some timber can be used straight away, some slabs need to be stored for a year or more until the timber is dry enough to use.

“We then build the furniture.”

Kym said Slab It Up had created more than 300 items of furniture over four years.

“Everything from tables, bars, wall units, tv units, wine racks, chairs, stools, signs and more,” she said.

“We also do fencing and have built a few greenhouses.”

The duo said the most rewarding part of their work was the transformation process and seeing their timber creations come to life.

“What we love most is seeing the logs we rescue (most are destined to be burnt or mulched) being repurposed to live on in a piece of furniture that will probably be around for 100 years or more,” Kym said.

“Each slab is unique – to us, we are releasing nature's inner beauty.”

To find out more about Slab It Up visit the business Facebook page here.

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